On April 20 – the day after FoxNews reported on our IPCC Report Card – Dr. Rajendra Pachauri, the IPCC Chair (who also happens to be “director of the Yale Climate and Energy Institute”) in conjunction with a “research associate” had an opinion article published on Yale’s “Environment 360” website.
I posted a comment, in reply. But it seems that the moderators of that site have taken lessons from the moderators at the CBC and it hasn’t appeared yet. In fact, there are surprisingly few replies posted. Anyway … I didn’t want my words to go to waste, so here they are (with text hyperlinked, rather than links as text):
It seems to me that Dr. Pachauri and his research associate need to sharpen their respective “truth in posting” skills. A few examples:
“recent questioning by some of the validity of the widely accepted science of climate change.”
From everything I’ve read, there are very few who question climate change. Whether or not “climate change” is a “widely accepted science” is debatable.
What is also debatable – and more important – is whether or not the IPCC Assessment Reports “present a comprehensive, objective, and balanced view of the areas they cover” as they are required to do in accordance with the “strict procedures” of the IPCC.
He describes the U.K. House of Commons Science and Technology Committee’s report as “essentially exonerating the researchers involved”. The Committee chair stated:
“Climate science is a matter of global importance. On the basis of the science, governments across the world will be spending trillions of pounds on climate change mitigation. The quality of the science therefore has to be irreproachable. What this inquiry revealed was that climate scientists need to take steps to make available all the data that support their work and full methodological workings, including their computer codes. Had both been available, many of the problems at CRU could have been avoided.”
The report itself states (p. 46)
“[T]he practices and methods of climate science are a key issue. If the practices of CRU are found to be in line with the rest of climate science, the question would arise whether climate science methods of operation need to change. In this event we would recommend that the scientific community should consider changing those practices to ensure greater transparency.”
A number of phrases occur to me that might be aptly applied to this report; however, “essentially exonerating” is not among them. It is also worth noting that MP Stringer, the only member of the committee whose credentials include a degree in science, was frequently outvoted by those with no science background on several key paragraphs of the report.
Dr. Pachauri claims that “AR4 cited approximately 18,000 peer-reviewed publications. It also included a limited amount of gray (or non-peer-reviewed) literature”.
While this is a slightly different tune than he has sung in the past, there is little material difference between these lyrics and those he has previously sung:
It is also worth noting that while the IPCC “rules” indicate that all non-peer-reviewed literature cited is to be clearly designated as such in the References, of the 18,531 total references in the 44 chapters of AR4 only 6 were so designated. This falls far short of the 5.600 publication references which were not sourced to any peer-reviewed journal.
Dr. Pachauri also claims that “AR4 was based on scientific studies completed before January 2006”. But he fails to note that AR4 was also based on some so-called scientific studies that were never seen by the Expert and Government Reviewers.
Dr. Judth Curry, in her recent observations regarding Oxburgh, CRU and the IPCC has commented:
“The corruptions of the IPCC process, and the question of corruption (or at least inappropriate torquing) of the actual science by the IPCC process, is the key issue. The assessment process should filter out erroneous papers and provide a broader assessment of uncertainty; instead, we have seen evidence of IPCC lead authors pushing their own research results and writing papers to support an established narrative. I don’t see much hope for improving the IPCC process under its current leadership.”
[and in a follow-up comment:]
“Regarding my personal opinion on where I stand regarding climate science as presented by the IPCC. I place little confidence in the WG2 and WG3 reports; these fields are in their infancy. With regards to the WG1 report, I think that some of the confidence levels are too high. During the period Feb 2007 – Nov 2009, when I gave a presentation on climate change I would say “don’t believe what one scientist says, listen to what the IPCC has to say” and then went on to defend the IPCC process and recite the IPCC conclusions. I am no longer substituting the IPCC’s judgment for my own judgment on this matter”
Further, Dr. Richard Tol, a longtime participant in the IPCC process, in his statement to a Dutch Parliamentary committee on climate-related matters has noted:
“Over the years, the IPCC has changed from a scientific institution that tries to be policy relevant to a political institution that pretends to be scientific. I regret that. There are already more than enough climate activists, while there are too few solid and neutral bodies that make down-to-earth and well-founded statements about climate change and climate policy”
If one were to assign a grade to this joint effort by Dr. Pachauri and his research associate, one might be inclined to observe that while they’re obviously very adept at recyling and spinning, as far as truth in posting is concerned, I’d say this article has earned them an F.